Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers

Over the past two decades, cosmetic dentistry has become a mainstay among general dentistry procedures. There are now many options for correcting cosmetic issues, one of the most common being the application of dental veneers. As the name implies, dental veneers are synthetic materials applied to the front of the tooth which offer excellent aesthetic value as well as several restorative benefits.

Dental veneers have been in existence for many years, but early incarnations did not boast the sophistication of today’s materials and were often only a temporary solution. The discovery of a more permanent bonding process has made dental veneers one of the most sought after and effective options for restoring a natural glow and luminescence to the teeth. If you are considering dental veneers, it is important to educate yourself on all the relevant pros and cons of this procedure.

The primary benefit of dental veneers is that they provide a safe and effective solution for teeth which have lost some of their luster. Over time, teeth have the tendency to chip or break, and eroded enamel can cause the teeth to lose their natural white coloring. In essence, veneers are a thin casing which is bonded to the tooth and mimics the appearance of natural teeth extremely well. To the untrained eye, dental veneers are nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Aside from their aesthetic value, dental veneers may simultaneously protect or repair damaged teeth. Teeth with eroded enamel are more prone to decay, and broken teeth can become painful and require extraction. Dental veneers not only create a “Hollywood” smile, they protect vulnerable spots on the teeth by encasing them in a thin protective material. Veneers are also frequently implemented to close gaps in teeth, lengthen worn down teeth, or cover holes that are the result of receded gums.

There are two common materials used to create dental veneers. The first is a composite resin formed from several dental materials. The composite material is often applied directly to the tooth and shaped appropriately, or in some cases, sent to a dental lab for fabrication. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, must be fabricated in a dental lab. Porcelain is an excellent material for dental veneers, as it is thin yet very durable and resistant to wear, chipping, and discoloration. Porcelain veneers can often last for more than 10 years without the need for major restoration.

Naturally, there are a few drawbacks to dental veneers. First, veneers require a reduction in the tooth material. Because the veneer is permanently bonded to the tooth, some of the tooth’s surface must be worn away to make room for the veneer. However, with porcelain veneers the needed reduction is only about half a millimeter, another reason why porcelain is the material of choice. The second drawback of dental veneers is cost. Because of their excellent prognosis and ability to mimic natural teeth, porcelain veneers may cost $1,000 or more per tooth.

Overall, dental veneers are an excellent choice for patients with generally healthy teeth and a few minor aesthetic and functional issues. Although relatively expensive, porcelain veneers are both incredibly strong and undeniably attractive. Your dentist can advise you on the best options for restoring your smile and your dental health.

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